(WASHINGTON) -- Freshman Democratic incumbent Rep. Gerry Connolly of northern Virginia eked out a narrow, belated re-election victory Tuesday after a concession from his Republican challenger, Keith Fimian.
The hotly contested race and its drawn-out conclusion in a key swing district in suburban Washington, D.C., had become a symbols of the depth of voters' discontentment and anti-incumbent sentiment during the midterm campaign.
Connolly received just 981 more votes than Fimian, or 0.4 percent of total votes cast, just two years after winning by 12 points in the same matchup. The narrow margin was sufficient for Fimian to request a taxpayer-funded recount, but his campaign believed it would likely not alter the outcome.
"A few minutes ago, Keith Fimian conceded the election for Virginia's 11th District," Connolly said in a statement. "I thank Keith for a hard-fought campaign, and am humbled and honored that I will be able to continue serving the people of the 11th District for another two years in Congress."
A second-term for Connolly in Virginia's 11th District, one of the wealthiest districts in the country, is a huge save for Democrats, albeit a bittersweet one. The party lost at least 60 House seats in last Tuesday's election, ceding majority control to Republicans.
"This is a suburban, swing district long held by a former Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee [Tom Davis] so it was critically important for Democrats to retain this seat," said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) spokesman Jesse Ferguson. "And we're proud of the campaign's work, and our work, to get that done."
The DCCC had poured more than $1 million into the race in the final week of the campaign to save the seat.
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